Sunday, 1 May 2011

Book of the Week and Bibliography - Anne Enright, The Forgotten Waltz

The Forgotten Waltz is a novel chronicling an affair in Dublin, set against the background of the peak of the Irish economy and its subsequent crash. It is Enright’s first novel since The Gathering won the Booker Prize in 2007. The urban affluent setting is somewhat of a departure for Enright, but the themes of the novel will be familiar to those who know her work – many of her books and stories deal with family relationships, love and sex, Ireland's difficult past and its modern zeitgeist.

Anne Enright was born in Dublin in 1962, studied English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and went on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Enright was a television producer and director for RTÉ in Dublin for six years, producing the programme Nighthawks for four years. She then worked in children's programming for two years and wrote at the weekends. The Portable Virgin, a collection of her short stories, was published in 1991, and won the 1991 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Enright began writing full-time in 1993.

Enright's novels are The Wig My Father Wore (1995), shortlisted for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Irish Literature Prize; What Are You Like? about twins separated at birth who meet when they are 25, winner of the 2001 Encore Award and shortlisted for the 2000 Whitbread Novel Award; The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002); and The Gathering (2007) about a large Irish family gathering for the funeral of a wayward brother. The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. She has also published a book of humorous essays, Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood (2004). She lives in Ireland.

The Forgotten Waltz has just been published as a hard cover by Jonathan Cape, and reviews are strong. A 100 copy signed and numbered limited edition is due, quarter bound in leather and in a slipcase or box. I will update with details when confirmed.

"The Forgotten Waltz is a memory of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction, the irreparable slip into longing. In Terenure, a pleasant suburb of Dublin, in the winter of 2009, it has snowed. Gina Moynihan, girl about town, recalls the trail of lust and happenstance that brought her to fall for ‘the love of her life’, Seán Vallely. As the city outside comes to a halt, Gina remembers the days of their affair in one hotel room or another: long afternoons made blank by bliss and denial. Now, as the silent streets and the stillness and vertigo of the falling snow make the day luminous and full of possibility, Gina waits the arrival on her doorstep of Seán’s fragile, twelve-year-old daughter, Evie – the complication, and gravity, of this second life.

In this extraordinary novel, this opening book of secrets, Anne Enright speaks directly to the readers she won with the success of The Gathering. Here, again, is the sudden, momentous drama of everyday life, the volatile connections between people; that fresh eye for each flinch and gesture; the wry, accurate take on families, marriage, brittle middle age. The same verve and humour and breathtaking control are evident; the ability to merge the ordinary and the beautiful. With The Forgotten Waltz Enright turns her attention fully to love – you might even call it romance – as she follows another flawed and unforgettable heroine on a journey of the heart. Writing at the height of her powers, this is Anne Enright’s tour de force, a novel of intelligence, passion and real distinction."


• The Portable Virgin (1991) – Secker and Warburg hardcover £100-150
• The Wig My Father Wore (1995) – Jonathan Cape hardcover £10-15
• What Are You Like? (2000) – Jonathan Cape paperback £10-15
• The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002) – Jonathan Cape hardcover £25-30
• Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood (2004) – Jonathan Cape hardcover. Rather uncommon but can be found at £10-15
• The Gathering (2007) – Jonathan Cape hardcover £50-60
• Taking Pictures (2008) - Jonathan Cape hardcover £10-15 (Published in US as Yesterday's Weather (2009), with slight differences)
• The Forgotten Waltz (2011) – Jonathan Cape hardcover £16.99

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